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Historic Districts in Houston

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 It is well settled law in the US that historic preservation is part of the government police powers.  It is also beyond dispute that raftsman and Victorian residential architecture is prized and appreciated.  So, instead of arguing those points and sounding foolish (like Ross), you have to make absurd extrapolations of my position to try to make a point.

 

I don't think I am the one sounding foolish here, but, you are entitled to your opinion. Or, as I like to say, I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.

 

What is beyond dispute is that some craftsman and Victorian architecture is prized by some people., but not by everyone. Those who prize the style will preserve it. Those who don't ought to be able to build what they want, absent mutually agreed deed restrictions to the contrary. If the HD ordinance had included an opt out clause, we would not be having this conversation.

Edited by Ross

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Except for the one area that has the most significant architecturally interesting Historic homes... River Oaks.   But for some reason they were bypassed?   Oh yeah, don't bite the hand that feeds you......

 

This is the smoking gun that it's not about history or architecture even in the least.  The Ordinance and the preservation movement itself is about power and control.  Parker owed a political debt and served up this power to her political supporters from the Tudor clique to the GLBT's. 

 

River Oaks has more declared historical "landmarks" than any other neighborhood.  Council was asking serious questions about the ethics of giving property tax breaks to these people at recent vote because they know the scam.  River Oaks will never fall victim to this Ordinance....as it stands the landmark "Preservationists" from River Oaks run their remodels through HAHC to see if they can slip it by with their "friends" in City Hall, if so, tax breaks for the rich, if not, no biggie, wait 90 days and do it anyway, the best of both worlds and you get a plaque to show off.  Meanwhile back in the Heights, wannabe collaborators are playing the game; families and regular Joes get hosed.

 

Wake up Heightstonians and take back your rights and political power.

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Two more appeals of CoA denials on the Planning Commission agenda for Thursday:

 

- 446 Arlington

- 1537 Ashland

 

Both are 2-story additions to 1-story bungalows that will roughly double the square footage of each.

 

The HAHC has clearly decided that you won't be able to turn your 1300-s.f. bungalow into a 2700-s.f. camel-back without a fight. From an aesthetic perspective, they're right (both of these additions come across as oddly proportioned), but this will sharply limit the universe of people willing to purchase and remodel smaller houses in the HD's.

 

 

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Wow. I looked at the Planning Commission Agenda online, and it appears that both projects had Staff's recommendation for approval, but they still got denied! The July HAHC meeting is still not posted online, so I have not seen it yet....did anyone see it and/or know what the Commission said as the basis for denial?

 

It looks like 2nd story additions are no longer allowed if someone starts it at the rear wall of the original structure and still gets denied.

 

Here is what this looks like to me (please correct me if I'm wrong):

  • The Ordinance says you can start a 2nd story 50% back.
  • One of the Historic Commissioners always says that he prefers to see the 2nd story begin 67% or 75% back.
  • The Preservation staff encourages applicants to begin their 2nd story at the rear wall to get them through the process easily (alas ridiculous looking houses like 163X Cortland shown in a previous post with zero back yard) because it will preserve 100% of the original structure.
  • The HAHC still denies additions that begin at the rear wall.

If you can't add a 2nd story addition on any portion of the original house, nor at the rear wall, does this mean that you just simply cannot have a 2nd story addition? Unfortunately the actual Ordinance and countless examples of precedent-setting houses disagree (right, all you lawyers?).

 

This is very disappointing and disheartening. It is the first time that I have started to question my investment (which by the way is my life savings plus, plus, plus), which is a bit scary for me. Most people I know that either have kids or want kids eventually want/need a 2nd story (yes people can do it without it e.g. me right now in my 1300 sqft 1-story cottage while waiting for construction on the "new" house to be complete, but very few choose to). If they can't have this (and other things that might be important to them like replacing rotten windows with energy efficient windows), then they will say: forget looking in Historic neighborhoods, we are moving to another neighborhood or the burbs!

 

 

 

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I'm still baffled by these decisions. The ordinance clearly states that HAHC shall issue a certificate of appropriateness for additions taller than the existing roof structure so long as:

 

a. The addition does not encroach into the front half of the existing structure, measured from the front facade of the existing structure to the farthest point of the rear of the existing structure from the front facade 

b. The plate height of the addition does not exceed 1.25 times the plate height of the existing structure; and 

c. The roof of the new addition does not deviate from the roof pitch of the existing structure. 

 

There are other requirements regarding materials, etc., but nowhere does it state a 67% or 75% setback from the front. It's as if the HAHC is imagining new rules on the fly rather than following their own rulebook. If they want to change the ordinance, they should put it to a real vote. It's not as if drawing up architectural plans is cheap; people need to know exactly what to expect to ensure a smooth and quick approval process. Otherwise, let's nullify this ordinance and disband the HAHC.

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I agree - nowhere does it say 67% or 75%, nor does it say rear wall, nor does it say that you cannot have a 2nd story no matter where you start it. Your direct copy/paste from the Ordinance says "front half", which is exactly what I was referring to in my post with 50%. All of this said, the further back you push the 2nd story, the bigger the house becomes b/c the 2nd story has to sit on top of something. Them telling me to push my 2nd story back 10 ft would have made it 350 sqft bigger for no reason.

 

You are right - as someone who has/is going through the process: it is incredibly expensive! I bought our property Nov 14, and we didn't have our permit in-hand until late May, and we are just in the process of framing now (finally, which is very fun). We are hoping/doubting that it will be complete in February, which is slightly less than convenient b/c we are expecting our 2nd child Feb 2nd. I had no idea that I would own 2 homes for 1.5 years, and likely would not have done this if I knew that from the beginning. I simply cannot afford it, especially now that there will be 4 of us, and I will be unpaid on maternity leave for several months. AND I'm probably in a better place than most b/c I'm an extremely decisive, type-A personality that makes decisions on design/materials/etc. a lot faster than your normal person. I have been absolutely "on-it" every step of the way (e.g. I bought my countertop material before I had even chosen a designer, less than one week after I bought the house).  

 

All this said, I'm still having fun with my project and will not let this get me down....not to say that it hasn't made me question my investment recently...

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Wow. I looked at the Planning Commission Agenda online, and it appears that both projects had Staff's recommendation for approval, but they still got denied! The July HAHC meeting is still not posted online, so I have not seen it yet....did anyone see it and/or know what the Commission said as the basis for denial?

 

It looks like 2nd story additions are no longer allowed if someone starts it at the rear wall of the original structure and still gets denied.

 

Here is what this looks like to me (please correct me if I'm wrong):

  • The Ordinance says you can start a 2nd story 50% back.
  • One of the Historic Commissioners always says that he prefers to see the 2nd story begin 67% or 75% back.
  • The Preservation staff encourages applicants to begin their 2nd story at the rear wall to get them through the process easily (alas ridiculous looking houses like 163X Cortland shown in a previous post with zero back yard) because it will preserve 100% of the original structure.
  • The HAHC still denies additions that begin at the rear wall.

If you can't add a 2nd story addition on any portion of the original house, nor at the rear wall, does this mean that you just simply cannot have a 2nd story addition? Unfortunately the actual Ordinance and countless examples of precedent-setting houses disagree (right, all you lawyers?).

 

This is very disappointing and disheartening. It is the first time that I have started to question my investment (which by the way is my life savings plus, plus, plus), which is a bit scary for me. Most people I know that either have kids or want kids eventually want/need a 2nd story (yes people can do it without it e.g. me right now in my 1300 sqft 1-story cottage while waiting for construction on the "new" house to be complete, but very few choose to). If they can't have this (and other things that might be important to them like replacing rotten windows with energy efficient windows), then they will say: forget looking in Historic neighborhoods, we are moving to another neighborhood or the burbs!

 

There is no such thing as binding precedent from a municipal committee.  A municipal committee that is given discretion to implement an ordinance cannot be challenged in court based on the fact that the committee exercised its discretion in a different way on another occasion.  Of course, that argument can be relevant and persuasive in the appeal process.  But it is not the same kind of legal precedent that occurs when a court of appeals publishes an opinion.  In fact, it is about as far from that as imaginable.

 

At the last HAHC meeting two additions were denied and one deferred.  11 proposed additions were approved.  All three of the applications for new construction were approved.  Your claim that families will stop coming to the Heights because of the historic ordinance are the kind of claims opponents were making to try to scare people into opposing the ordinance.  The reality is that, if you have the $, there is more than enough housing in the HDs for families and plenty of additions are being approved. 

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There is no such thing as binding precedent from a municipal committee.  A municipal committee that is given discretion to implement an ordinance cannot be challenged in court based on the fact that the committee exercised its discretion in a different way on another occasion.  Of course, that argument can be relevant and persuasive in the appeal process.  But it is not the same kind of legal precedent that occurs when a court of appeals publishes an opinion.  In fact, it is about as far from that as imaginable.

 

At the last HAHC meeting two additions were denied and one deferred.  11 proposed additions were approved.  All three of the applications for new construction were approved.  Your claim that families will stop coming to the Heights because of the historic ordinance are the kind of claims opponents were making to try to scare people into opposing the ordinance.  The reality is that, if you have the $, there is more than enough housing in the HDs for families and plenty of additions are being approved. 

 

Thank you for the legal clarification; I did not know how this works legally (I am being serious, not sarcastic).

 

I haven't seen the meeting yet b/c it is not posted, so I did not see the other 11 approved additions, nor the 3 new construction applications. Did you go or do you have a copy of the dvd? If you have a copy of the dvd, can you post it on youtube? I am anxious to watch the whole thing when it is posted. Did any of the 11 approved additions have 2nd stories? If so, where did they start? I know you are hoping to do an addition eventually per another older post; do you want to put on a 2nd story? I sincerely hope that you are able to do it and you don't get told no b/c I know what you do will be thoughtful and preserve the character of your house.

 

I work with 3 people who are looking to buy in the Heights recently/now. I am not saying that this is everyone by any stretch of the imagination, but this is my personal knowledge of "the market". As one mere example, the first thing that one of them said to me when showing me a listing on Harvard was: "we'd of course put in energy efficient windows." I said, you can do that, but you will have to go through a process and have the potential to be denied like several other people where you might have to appeal, even though the legal document says that you can as long as you use "like" materials and it doesn't specify condition:

 

(6) New materials to be used for any exterior feature excluding what is visible

from public alleys must be visually compatible with, but not necessarily the

same as, the materials being replaced in form, design, texture, dimension

and scale;

 

I told her that I LIKE my old, rotten windows, so I am choosing to keep them, so I did not have this issue.

 

This is only one example of one small conversation...I don't have time to type more.

 

All this said, I want you to know that I have tried to talk all of them into buying in the HD, but none of them want anything to do with it. I am not trying to scare anyone away from HD's - quite the contrary! I have said over and over again that I like them in principle but think the details of enforcement could be improved.

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I would never knowingly buy into a historic district.  EVER.  That said, I own a rental house in the district...it was not historic when I bought it, all my closing papers showed it as unrestricted property, but magically by the wave of a magic wand, it now has lots of restrictions...what you seem to miss Brie (and I mean this respectfully) is that this is not actually about architecture, history, or consistency.  Its about property taxes.  Its about a bunch of folks trying like hell to prevent others from driving up the value of their house so that they can afford it in perpetuity.   These people like where they live, they like the influx of business & restaurants, but they dont like the price tag.  The ordinance was their way to not pay the true value of the property and try to freeze appreciation, or at least drastically slow it.

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List of applications is here.

 

 

Heights East:

 

- 2 new builds (approved)

- 1 Relocation/modification (approved)

- 1 Alteration (approved)

- 1 2-story addition (approved)

 

Heights South

 

- 1 new build (approved)

- 2 2-story additions (approved)

- 1 2-story addition (denied)

- 1 alteration (approved)

 

Heights West

 

- 1 Relocation/modification (withdrawn)

- 3 new builds (approved), incl. one @ 5000 s.f.

- 1 2-story addition (denied)

 

 

 

So, in the Heights HDs, 40% of additions were denied, without very clear criteria as to why.  Not sure I'd want to roll those dice if my life savings were on the line.

 

 

 

 

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Brie- why would you question your investment? I'm not following. You wanted to build your camelback, it eventually was approved, and you are now constructing your camelback. If your worst fears are realized, ie, no more camelbacks approved(?)' it seems your value could only go up more because there would then be less camelbacks for people who cannot live in less than 2k feet, thus making your home more valuable.

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Anyone who wishes they weren't in the hd, sell to someone who wants to be there... or... I am interested in a trade for a comparable hd house. Only 1800 sq foot plus, updated 2/2 or 3/2 bungalows in the WH need apply. You know which street I'm on and who my neighbor is about to be. Any takers???

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......

 

So, in the Heights HDs, 40% of additions were denied, without very clear criteria as to why.  Not sure I'd want to roll those dice if my life savings were on the line.

 

Uncertainty is the bane of capital investment and anyone who professes that this uncertainty is good for Heights property owners is a fool or has a hidden agenda.  After the last HAHC embarrassment in front of the Planning Commission, Parker finally stepped in with her subcommittee idea to stop them from making asses of themselves and her indirectly.  One month later the children are at it again tossing good citizens’ life savings to the wind just because they can.  Power is a wonderful thing.  It enables corruption and spite, and this HAHC looks full of both.  Parker entered the fray last month taking a political risk, but she had to do something because of the public roasting they endured.  Let’s do our best for a repeat and see how she dances this month because sooner or later she’s going to step right in a big pile of it.

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it seems your value could only go up more because there would then be less camelbacks for people who cannot live in less than 2k feet, thus making your home more valuable.

No need to be sanctimonious, the HAHC talent scout has gone home for the evening.

Is 2000 sqf the new benchmark of historic preservation virtue and decency? Is this number inclusive of ground floor retail or mixed-useness? If I'm not mistaken the Walton's are not in compliance. Goodnight John boy.

Edited by TGM

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Double-header extends reversal streak for out-of-touch HAHC when Planning Commission overturns twin asinine rulings........story at 11..........http://houstontx.swagit.com/play/08082013-604

 

Once again, the idiots on the HAHC waste our tax dollars in an effort to force their aesthetic views on unsuspecting property owners.

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Planning Commision Hat-Trick extends reversal streak for out-of-touch HAHC by overturning triple asinine rulings........same old story, on August 14th HAHC denied four CoA's, property owners appealed three of the four to the PC and won all three.  This screwball HAHC is an embarassment to our City with their lack of consistency, lack of professionalism and lack of understanding of the good people of Houston, luckily we have a balanced PC to somewhat limit the damage and waste inflicted by these fools.  At the very end of the meeting Gafrick stated that they plan a joint workshop between the two commissions to take a tour of the Heights in October in an affort to align on interpretation of the Ordinance, so I'm sure Gafrick will conduct that as a fair and honest power broker just like she handled the townhalls and the reconsideration vote ............http://houstontx.swagit.com/play/09052013-565
 

Edited by fwki

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On NextDoor today, George Clogston the historic window guy has now publicly refused to do any work to restore Brie's windows because he does not approve of the architecture that she has chosen.  Pasted from NextDoor today:

George Clogston from Woodland Heights 19h ago

OK, I'll explain. When a home in the Heights has been hacked up so bad that, in my opinion, it is barely recognizable, I just do not care to be a part of the destruction.

 

 

 

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On NextDoor today, George Clogston the historic window guy has now publicly refused to do any work to restore Brie's windows because he does not approve of the architecture that she has chosen.  Pasted from NextDoor today:

George Clogston from Woodland Heights 19h ago

OK, I'll explain. When a home in the Heights has been hacked up so bad that, in my opinion, it is barely recognizable, I just do not care to be a part of the destruction.

 

Right, because anyone who can't live in a 1200 sq ft original house ought to go live in the suburbs. I've seen Brie's house in progress, and it's very nice, especially given the restrictions imposed by the ordinance that make ugly additions the preferred alternative to not getting a permit.

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On NextDoor today, George Clogston the historic window guy has now publicly refused to do any work to restore Brie's windows because he does not approve of the architecture that she has chosen.  Pasted from NextDoor today:

George Clogston from Woodland Heights 19h ago

OK, I'll explain. When a home in the Heights has been hacked up so bad that, in my opinion, it is barely recognizable, I just do not care to be a part of the destruction.

Holy crap, I was just told what this guy told these people to their faces when he bailed out.  These vendors are scared witless about the business repercussions of not playing ball with this HAHC faction......Louisiana flashbacks. 

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If you think George gives a rats ass about what HAHC thinks you are sadly mistaken.  He is a craftsman who takes great pride in his work and in his neighborhood.  He doesn't need to take on a job that he feels is a waste of his efforts: he has too much to do as it is.

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If you think George gives a rats ass about what HAHC thinks you are sadly mistaken.  He is a craftsman who takes great pride in his work and in his neighborhood.  He doesn't need to take on a job that he feels is a waste of his efforts: he has too much to do as it is.

 

Of course he cares.  HAHC effectively passed a law that ensures he has a solid stream of business for life.  Its now illegal to replace old crappy windows with visibly identical non-crappy energy efficient ones.  He refused to work on Brie's house because he was afraid that if he did it would anger the other radical preservationists in the neighborhood.  Its his right to refuse any work he does not want to do, but he crossed the line when he went out of his way to disparage another persons project because he personally does not like the way it looks.

 

Its bad enough that owners have to deal with the historic ordinance and the HAHC....they should not also have to deal with the snobby attitudes of people like George who are upset that the neighborhood is evolving into a neighborhood that is conducive to families.  Families dont live in $450,000 shacks, beautiful or not, historic or not (and there is nothing historic about them).  Families who can afford the area want space and they don't give a rats ass about who or what was there before them.  The people fighting the improvements, and they are definitively improvements, are just upset that they are being priced of the neighborhood themselves.  Good riddance, I say.

Edited by Marksmu

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First, Brie started this by calling out George in a neighborhood forum.  Brie's original post:

 

Does anyone have a recommendation for someone who is good at repairing old windows? Unfortunately, The Sash Guy was unwilling to help us (despite the fact that I recommended The Sash Guy to a big group of people at the Historic Preservation Fair when the man leading the old window repair session said that he did not repair old windows for others professionally himself b/c it is too tedious/time consuming/expensive). Therefore, since I'm saving every single window in my 1920 house, I am looking for someone else to repair them (rotten wood, broken cords, painted shut, etc.). I don't necessarily need them to open up/down, other than 1/room as City code requires, but I think they will be beautiful when cleaned up properly by a professional. I'm too scared to try to do it myself b/c if the man leading the presentation on old window repair at the Historic Preservation Fair (who I assume is an expert) said that he himself breaks them from time to time, then I have no chance of doing it properly myself. 

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

So, she shot first.  She made her disagreement with the Sash Guy public.  The Sash Guy merely responded candidly as a number of people were asking why he wouldn't do the work.  All she had to do was just say that she was unable to get the Sash Guy to do the work and needed someone else.  Then the Sash Guy would have never have been compelled to respond.  But she decided to through mud, and the Sash Guy defended.  Fair game.

 

Second, how interesting it is that the anti-preservationists are so indignant about this.  The central argument of the anti-preservationists is that everyone should be able to do what they want with their life and not have to owe anything to anyone.  The right of self determination is the cornerstone of the anti-ordinance argument.  But, when a guy comes along and wants to limit his work to only those homes that he finds to be consistent with his ideals, he gets called out for merely wanting to chose who he does business with.  So, under the anti-ordinance theory of life, your right to do what you want with your property is absolute, but you will get called out for doing what you want with your business if your decision is based on ideals that the anti-preservationist do not agree with. 

 

Third, HAHC got overruled on replacement windows.  You can do them now.  The Sash Guy works for a fraction of the cost of most carpenters and basically does it as a public service and as a paid hobby.  He is not a regular subcontractor for the builders who are doing all the renovations in the Heights.  He mostly gets hired directly by homeowners.  Thus, the tinfoil hat theory of a grand conspiracy with HAHC and the Sash Guy is just silly as he does not work on the majority of the projects that go through the commission. 

 

Fourth, this all begs the question of why was it even necessary to post on nextdoor looking for recommendations when there should be a general contractor on the job.  You would think that anyone responsible for renovating a house in the Heights would either know how to restore the original windows or be able to hire out the work. 

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Brie asked for a recommendation, and you think she slung mud by stating "Unfortunately, The Sash Guy was unwilling to help us"  That does not seem like a lot of mud slinging at all.  That seems like a very restrained statement considering what he actually said to her in person (if what I have heard is accurate)

 

Second, I dont see anyone here, or on next door, saying that the Sash Guy isnt allowed to pick/choose who he works for.  Rather the animosity is for his attempt to publicly shame/intimidate Brie, or anyone else like her who would DARE to add on or remodel a shack in the Heights not to his liking.  His tone was clear.  He does not approve of the work, doesn't think she should be allowed to do it, so he wont help her in doing so.  That is his right, but he stepped out of bounds when he shamed her and he deserves some public reprimand.  It is not his right to tell her what she can/cant do to her house, and his actions were meant to intimidate others from doing as she has done.  He is indigante b/c she made the HAHC out to be fools they are, and his beloved ordinance got revealed for what it is.... namely bovine  excrement.  I support Brie's right to do whatever she wants to her house, and I support his right to refuse work on any job he deems unfit for his "skill"

 

Third - I had no idea HAHC was over-ruled on old windows, that is good news for once.

 

Fourth - the reason to post on Next Door was clear, and stated.  She WANTS to keep all of the old windows and wants someone who will work on them.  She does not want to replace them.  Im surprised you missed that part....contractors, almost all of them, will just want to replace something as old and worthless as 50+ year window....but people are qwerky, and she wants to keep them....good luck finding a contractor who does that...very few people make a living off of a skill that is no longer used.  Not many folks doing typewriter repair around anymore either.

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Man she really tore the sash guy a new one compared with what you said she should have done.

 

All she had to do was just say that she was unable to get the Sash Guy to do the work and needed someone else.

 

 

 

Does anyone have a recommendation for someone who is good at repairing old windows? Unfortunately, The Sash Guy was unwilling to help us (despite the fact that I recommended The Sash Guy to a big group of people at the Historic Preservation Fair when the man leading the old window repair session said that he did not repair old windows for others professionally himself b/c it is too tedious/time consuming/expensive).
Edited by JJxvi

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Third - I had no idea HAHC was over-ruled on old windows, that is good news for once.

 

 

Wrong, the HAHC was overruled in one instance after a tedious appeal process. But those fools are still denying window replacement CoA that do not strictly follow National Park Standards for Protected Landmarks.  I heard the whole spiel from Marlene herself.

 

(Here's one example Item hh - http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Commissions/minutes_hahc13/06_13_2013.pdf )

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It's really a shame someone took George's post down on Nextdoor....that ridiculous statement of his should be up there forever for all to see....

 

I wonder if Brie can go back to the HAHC and request new windows if she can't find anyone to repair them..

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Brie asked for a recommendation, and you think she slung mud by stating "Unfortunately, The Sash Guy was unwilling to help us"  That does not seem like a lot of mud slinging at all.  That seems like a very restrained statement considering what he actually said to her in person (if what I have heard is accurate)

 

Second, I dont see anyone here, or on next door, saying that the Sash Guy isnt allowed to pick/choose who he works for.  Rather the animosity is for his attempt to publicly shame/intimidate Brie, or anyone else like her who would DARE to add on or remodel a shack in the Heights not to his liking.  His tone was clear.  He does not approve of the work, doesn't think she should be allowed to do it, so he wont help her in doing so.  That is his right, but he stepped out of bounds when he shamed her and he deserves some public reprimand.  It is not his right to tell her what she can/cant do to her house, and his actions were meant to intimidate others from doing as she has done.  He is indigante b/c she made the HAHC out to be fools they are, and his beloved ordinance got revealed for what it is.... namely bovine  excrement.  I support Brie's right to do whatever she wants to her house, and I support his right to refuse work on any job he deems unfit for his "skill"

 

Third - I had no idea HAHC was over-ruled on old windows, that is good news for once.

 

Fourth - the reason to post on Next Door was clear, and stated.  She WANTS to keep all of the old windows and wants someone who will work on them.  She does not want to replace them.  Im surprised you missed that part....contractors, almost all of them, will just want to replace something as old and worthless as 50+ year window....but people are qwerky, and she wants to keep them....good luck finding a contractor who does that...very few people make a living off of a skill that is no longer used.  Not many folks doing typewriter repair around anymore either.

 

1.  She also commented on how she had recommended him to others.  Clearly the implication was that he had wronged her after she had done something nice for him. 

 

2.  George never said he thought Brie should or shouldn't be allowed to do it.  He said that he did not like it and did not want to be a part of what he thought was the destruction of the original home.  That tone was tame compared to the endless slams from anti-ordinance people calling historic ordinance supporters "snobs" and claim that they want to preserve every "shack, historic or not" (I wonder who said that?).  Goose/Gander?

 

4.  Broman, Lucas Craftsmanship, Bungalow Revival, a guy named Mario who fixed my window, and a ton of others can restore double hung windows.  It is very straight forward carpentry.  Most contractors won't do it because they can't have an $8 an hour framer do it. 

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How dare Brie state EXACTLY what happened.

 

And how dare the Sash Guy state EXACTLY why he refused the work.  If the Sash Guy said that he would not work on any house in a HD because he was against HDs, you all would be singing his praise.  This has nothing to do with whether the guy is allowed to have an opinion and air it after being called out in public.  This is simply about him having an opinion that you all do not like. 

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It's really a shame someone took George's post down on Nextdoor....that ridiculous statement of his should be up there forever for all to see....

 

I wonder if Brie can go back to the HAHC and request new windows if she can't find anyone to repair them..

That's a good question because it's a TPIA, not a do-it-yourself operation.  I tried to just un-paint them and managed just a few after countless hours.  But practicality has nothing to do with the freakish HAHC today because their goal is to force normal people out of here.  But I think after a hefty donation to The Cause, the board may see things differently.

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The Children of the Corn are up to no good once again in this feature presentation: 1213 Harvard CoA Denial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxevEAIppJU&feature=youtu.be

Commissioner Elliott is at his arrogant best as he explains that the aesthetics of your domicile will be judged not against the home as it stands today but rather against how the home existed long ago in the vivid imaginations of the Children of the Corn.....and stay tuned for the sequel because this one will be the first appeal after, as requested by Mayor Parker, the "joint" committee takes a ride on the Magic Bus right through the Heights, no doubt carefully following the treacherous former marathon route into the hinterland.  Breeders and builders beware, do not look into the eyes of the Children as they pass lest your progeny become sterile and whimsical and corrupt.

 

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It is obvious to even the most casual observer that three or four of you have dedicated your lives to exposing the historic commission. That is astonishing.

However, the real tragedy here is not your chosen cause but rather that only five or six people read your impassioned posts. So while this echo chamber may be very loud, it just isn't seen by enough people. How will the good people ever learn about the brainwashing and corruption and oppression unless you take it to the public?

I propose that you start a shadow commission, you can hold it out in front of the downtown library. It would be a great way to bring more publicity to your opinions and viewpoints, but with less anonymity and probably a lot more hyperbole. I'm sure you will be well received by the audience. You could even sell tickets and raise a little money!

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Morrison,  what you describe would take the dedication of people's lives... versus a few minutes on a keyboard sporadically throughout the day.  

 

 

It is also obvious then to the most casual observer that 1 person had dedicated their life to the support of the historic commission. 

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Don't deflect, and don't be modest. You guys are doing something really *special* here.

Is that you Jim?

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I live down the street from 1213 Harvard and I can not believe what the commission told them!  Their house was enlarged in the past w/ one of those 80's horrible looking "pop-outs" that looks like sticking a big box onto a house made of triangles.  The proposed addition will make the house fit in MUCH better w/ the historic character of our street and will look MORE compatible after this proposed addition is done.  But it was denied???  This is after the commission also denied their neighbor's addition (overturned on appeal) which is next to a multi-story apartment building...

Anyhow this makes no sense to me what the commission is doing.  The proposed addition for 1213 would meet the needs of the homeowners (it's THEIR house and they have 2 young kids now) and will better the neighborhood while becoming MORE conforming to the historical character.

And Lauren - put all the nut-job hyperbole aside that you read here (it's pretty out there) and just have a drive by the house(s) in question on the way home and you'll see what I mean.

Cheers

James

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I...And Lauren - put all the nut-job hyperbole aside that you read here (it's pretty out there) ....

 

Lauren, that would be me, having some Halloween fun.  Next up: Thanksgiving, unless they do something stupid on Armistice Day.

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I'm at a loss on the historic guidelines make our neighborhood "historically" acceptable. I have a Queen Anne bungalow. From researching similar homes at the turn of the century, it's my understanding that the ornate QA's generally started with the humble bungalow until resources and needs for more space converted the lowly bungalow into an ornate full blown QA. Is that correct? If so, the setbacks are totally against historical integrity which makes me question any and all regulations shoved down our collective throats. While I will always respect doing the right thing, there are many benefits to asking for forgiveness rather than permission.

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I'm at a loss on the historic guidelines make our neighborhood "historically" acceptable. I have a Queen Anne bungalow. From researching similar homes at the turn of the century, it's my understanding that the ornate QA's generally started with the humble bungalow until resources and needs for more space converted the lowly bungalow into an ornate full blown QA. Is that correct? If so, the setbacks are totally against historical integrity which makes me question any and all regulations shoved down our collective throats. While I will always respect doing the right thing, there are many benefits to asking for forgiveness rather than permission.

 

Not correct.  Queen Anne architecture pre-dates the craftsman bungalows.  Most Queen Anne houses in the Heights are from right around the turn of the century and were built with transomed windows (the Victorian era method for getting air circulation--good example of Queen Anne elevation here:  http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20713808,00.html).  Ones that do not or that have some more craftsman looking elements (tapered columns, etc) are probably craftsman bungalows that borrow on some Queen Anne elements.  But there was no process of building a little bungalow and then adding on a Queen Anne elevation on the front of the building.   

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There are quite a few houses in the Heights that show a mix of styles though: Craftsman forms with Queen Anne detailing, Queen Anne forms with craftsman detailing etc. This is Houston; nothing is ever pure.

 

But yeah, they're not pokemon. Bungalows don't evolve into queen annes. 

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Hi all,

 

I've gone a bit quiet after the whole unintentional window drama. I know I don't need to further explain myself to 99.5% of you, but in my defense to the 0.5% of you who still think I'm evil, I will say that I posted 2 extra times on Nextdoor:

 

  • in response to person 1,
    I know that George does wonderful work. That is why I promoted him at the historic preservation fair as well as why I gave him a compliment in my original post. The only reason I even mentioned him was because every other post I've seen on next door about old window repair has recommended him (again this is a tribute to his good work), and unfortunately for me, he does not want to work on my windows, so I need to find an alternative and was asking for help. He has spoken for why he does not want to help us (actually in more appropriate language than to us originally). In terms of your clarification as to what I am doing, of course I want to restore them and make them as functional and energy efficient as possible. I know this is something that he specializes in, and it would be great if I could find someone who can do it as well as him too.
     
  • in response to person 2 later who was asking if I had found anyone:
    Hi Jimmy,
    Thanks for asking; I sent all of the great recommendations to my builder while I was out of town last week. I know he's started talking to them and feels like we have many great options. I haven't talked to him since I've been back in town (late Friday night - I try to leave him alone on weekends as much as possible!), so I'm not sure if he's chosen anyone yet.

    Separately, I did not intend for my question to cause drama, and I called George to apologize. I thought "unwilling to help" was pretty PG, but apparently others disagreed. Also, to those who thought it was inappropriate for to ask for help on a public forum, please know that before posting on Nextdoor, I asked everyone I knew possible if they had any recommendations: the Historic Preservation Staff, Lynn with Historic Houston, neighbors, etc. They all recommended George - again a tribute to his great work and fabulous reputation, but unfortunately for me, this didn't help get me anywhere in restoring/fixing my historic windows. I waited for ~2 months after talking to him before posting on Nextdoor b/c I thought that maybe we'd be able to find someone. I also tried to think of the best way to ask the question b/c every other post I've seen in the past recommended him. I know he's busy and has a long waiting list, so I assumed that if I said something like "can't help us," it would lead people to say: "he's busy but worth waiting for" or something similar, which again speaks very highly of him, but doesn't help get all of my windows restored, now that it's time for us to get moving on the windows. Alas "unwilling to help" was the best I could come up with, which didn't seem bad or rude to me!

    Thanks again to everyone for your recommendations!

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